22nd Sept 2008
We received with great distress the news of the deposition of the Rt Revd Bob Duncan, the Bishop of Pittsburgh, by the House of Bishops (HOB) of The Episcopal Church (TEC).
The Communion has repeatedly asked TEC to make pastoral provisions and avoid steps that will alienate further those within TEC who wish to live by the Anglican faith which they believe to be true and remain in fellowship within the Anglican Communion. Even as recent as at the recent Lambeth, the great majority of Bishops present, including those from TEC, have expressed sincere desire for healing and reconciliation and to observe restraints on contentious issues for the Windsor-Covenant process to proceed.
The HOB has instead proceeded to depose a faithful bishop of the Gospel and the diocese under his care. This raises serious questions yet again, and more strikingly so soon after Lambeth, as to how sincere TEC and some of its bishops are in wanting to bring reconciliation, healing and resolution to the Communion crisis at hand.
The Province of Southeast Asia will continue to support, remain in full communion and prayerfully explore steps to strengthen our shared life with Anglican leaders like Bishop Bob Duncan and the Diocese of Pittsburgh as well as other TEC bishops who respect the mind of the Communion and remain faithful to the teaching of Scripture as expressed in the tradition and life of the Church. We urge those who have not chosen to ‘walk apart’ to work actively and sincerely with the Windsor-Covenant Process and other measures agreed at the Communion level. This is probably the only remaining opportunity to bind the Communion together out of this crisis which will strengthen our future common life, witness in the world and our place as an Anglican ecclesial family within the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Most Rev’d Dr John Chew
Province of Southeast Asia